The Replacements - Songs For Slim (12IN)

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As the replacement for Replacement Bob Stinson , Slim Dunlap kind of got a raw deal, serving as a faithful guitarist in an era where the band was falling apart under the stress of Paul Westerberg 's conflicted crossover ambitions. Dunlap was a rock & roll lifer, though, continuing to play as a solo act and sideman in the years following the Replacements ' disbandment, eventually winding up right back where he started from: playing guitar in Minneapolis, playing because he loved it. All that changed in February of 2012 when Dunlap suffered a stroke, thereby racking up considerable medical bills, which in turn called his former bandmates into action. The five songs here, all sung by Westerberg and featuring Stinson, guitarist Kevin Bowe, and drummer Peter Anderson, could not be called tightly controlled, which is, naturally, their appeal. As the quartet stumbles through Dunlap's "Busted Up," Gordon Lightfoot's "I'm Not Sayin'," Hank Williams' "Lost Highway," and the Stephen Sondheim/Jule Styne Broadway standard "Everything's Coming Up Roses," they do sound like the Replacements. It's loose but sober, all the recklessness coming from the raggedness inherent in Westerberg and Stinson's chemistry.

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